Programs

Areas of Focus

We are a powerhouse of hard-working public servants working toward a singular goal: to make your life better in both big and small ways. We support you in emergency situations, through snow, floods and fires. We’re on the road and have your back through courtesy patrols and heavy tow—even changing your flat tire to get you safely back on your way.

Our engineers are always working on ways to improve the roads you travel, to increase safety and decrease travel times. We have a traffic operations center staffed 24 hours a day by a team who keeps their eyes glued to cameras, reporting out road information via text, email and social media. Our maintenance crews are also on-call 24-7 to service the roadways, whether through snow removal, emergency pothole repair, or investigating bridge hits.

Take a look at some of our main areas of focus, and learn more about what we do and the services we provide.

Gone are the days when one could travel between Fort Collins and Denver in an hour or less. Colorado's expanding population continues edging north. Larimer and Weld counties are among the fastest-growing in the country; by 2040, the population of Larimer County is expected to double, while Weld County's will increase by 111 percent.

This growth will add an estimated 60 percent more vehicles making daily trips along I-25. More people than ever before are commuting along the northern Front Range, resulting in frustrating congestion and safety concerns on one of Colorado's main economic thoroughfares.

CDOT is actively working to improve safety and mobility and relieve congestion along I-25 North—adding Express Lanes to increase capacity and safety in both directions, upgrading bridges and interchanges, and enhancing roadway infrastructure to meet the demands of this rapidly growing region, and bring critically important benefits for the economy, environment and quality of life in northern Colorado.

I-25 South is a vital piece of our economy, allowing for the flow of goods and services to Colorado Springs, Pueblo, New Mexico and beyond. Yet, nearly every day of the week and at almost any time of day, you can expect congestion on I-25 South.

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But it's not just the congestion causing problems; in addition to increased traffic volume, high speeds and climbing grades have resulted in an increase in fatal crashes and extended periods of closures on I-25 South in recent years.

CDOT has identified I-25 South as a top statewide priority to increase safety and reliability on one of Colorado's most-traveled stretches of highway, and continues to work with localities and the public along the corridor to develop immediate and viable mobility solutions.

As far as highways go, I-70 is perhaps one of the most unique and complex roads in the country. Colorado's main east-west artery is home to the highest vehicular tunnel in the United States and one of the country's most intricate marvels of mountain highway engineering. As one of the only access points to Colorado's popular ski resorts, I-70 plays an enormous role in our state's recreation and tourism industry, while also serving as a key freight corridor.

From distribution to tourism, I-70 is an integral hub that connects Colorado with the rest of the country and supports billions of dollars in commerce. In fact, one hour of delay on I-70 in the mountains costs drivers and the economy $1 million.

Aside from its scenic views and feats of engineering, I-70 is a notoriously challenging corridor—for both CDOT and the traveling public—due increasingly high-traffic volumes coupled with volatile winter-driving conditions, low visibility and steep grades. In 2017, the I-70 Mountain Corridor experienced 397 events that forced full closures of I-70 between West Vail and Golden. This accounted for 33 days, five hours and 41 minutes of total closure time, primarily due to crashes and weather—a common occurrence that puts a burden on freight access, the local economy and the tourism industry.

Additionally, I-70 serves the Denver Front Range, bringing visitors from Denver International Airport, and making critical connections to the rest of the state as well as for daily commuters.

CDOT has worked tirelessly over the years to alleviate the factors within our control contributing to congestion and closures, while improving safety and mobility along this highly traveled and critical interstate. This work will continue as CDOT invests in innovative solutions to enhancing Colorado's most infamous interstate.

Potholes. Cracks. Aging bridges and pavement. Colorado's road conditions continue to decline, while the cost to maintain them is increasing. In fact, 41 percent of the major roads locally and state-maintained in Colorado—including interstates and freeways—are in "poor" condition, even while CDOT allocates hundreds of millions of dollars each year to maintain them, which is the majority of the CDOT annual budget. And if our road conditions continue to break down, Colorado's mobility and economic vitality will also suffer.

CDOT's dedicated team works hard to monitor and update drivers on daily road conditions. But the fact is, maintenance is only half the battle, which is why CDOT is making investments in programs to help improve the overall conditions of Colorado's single-most-important transportation asset: the state highway system.

With much of Colorado's economy relying on manufacturing, agriculture, natural resources and tourism, there is an immediate need to fix Colorado's roads in order to stay competitive.

In Colorado, there's summer, fall, winter and pothole season. Every spring, wet spring weather accompanied by freezing temperatures is followed by warmer weather—causing potholes to form on Colorado's interstates and highways across the state.

CDOT maintenance crews make daily trips along interstates and highways, examining the roadways for potholes, debris, guardrail damage and more. But because we can't be everywhere all the time, CDOT also relies heavily on drivers to report potholes. We're continuing to explore ways to eliminate potholes altogether, but in the meantime, the public is encouraged to report potholes and other highway maintenance concerns by contacting us.

CDOT works year-round to ensure our state's bridges are safe and up to date. But the fact is, bridges have a limited life span and repairs can only extend it so much. Many of Colorado's bridges will need to be replaced sooner rather than later.

In 2009, to stay on top of these needs, CDOT formed the Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE) to focus on financing, repairing, reconstructing, and replacing bridges identified as structurally deficient and rated as "poor." To fund these efforts, a bridge safety surcharge was imposed on vehicle registration. The surcharge is based on vehicle weight and ranges from $13 to $32. These fees are estimated to generate about $100 million in annual funding to improve the safety of Colorado's bridges.

If you've driven anywhere in Colorado lately, you kno traffic is a problem. Our state's population continues to grow, putting an even greater strain on our transportation infrastructure and impairing mobility. At the same time, changing demographics and travel behavior are increasing the demand for multimodal options. We know building more roads and expanding our current ones will not help alleviate congestion; it will take a holistic, balanced approach to create impactful solutions.

Increasing multimodal options available to travelers can have a variety of benefits—including lowering travel costs for the user, promoting physical activity and reducing environmental impacts. CDOT is focused on making necessary investments in multimodal options such as bus rapid transit, pedestrian walkways and bike lanes that complement our highway system and meet Colorado's growing mobility needs.

Did you know that 70 percent of all freight moved in the United States is done by trucks? That means every day, you're sharing the road with your very own groceries, fuel, medication and other goods. And when you're stuck in traffic along I-70 or I-25, that freight truck losing valuable time next to you is costing distributors—and ultimately you—more money.

The quality of our roads, congestion, potholes, structurally deficient bridges and more all play a vital role in making sure freight carriers are able to reach their destinations as seamlessly as possible. Colorado's freight system has a significant impact on our state economy, and can directly impact freight costs and overall efficiency. Not only that, transportation ranks as the second most important factor in business location decisions, and one in six jobs in Colorado relies on freight transportation.

CDOT is currently developing the state's first comprehensive Multimodal Freight Plan to better understand the complex systems and networks that Colorado business and consumers rely on, and ultimately support the economic vitality of the state by providing for the safe, efficient, coordinated and reliable movement of freight.

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